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Libraries

I love so much about open-stack libraries. Yesterday, I spent no more than a minute each looking at six different volumes of Cicero's works. What a waste of book ordering that would have been at the British Library!

My coin purse has two compartments, one for money, and one for other things. The other things I keep there are transit tokens and locker coins. I still have my Canadian quarter for the PIMS lockers. It's now been joined by a UK pound coin for the British Library lockers.

Libraries are such social places for the graduate students who spend disproportionate amounts of their time in them. I ran into A.A., A.C., morchu, and chamaeleoncat in the libraries today, among others. A.C. was thrown by my temporarily straight hair. She said she only recognized me by my smile. (Part of me must be a Cheshire Cat.)

I'm surprised by how many of my footnotes-in-need-of-checking involve authors I can't remember ever hearing of before. Reading through my text, most of them are just necessary enough to be worth mentioning. Some, I've edited out of the text. Some, such as the rather obscure Julianus Pomerius, haven't be re-editioned in a century and a half as far as I can tell.

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(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
Libraries
I recently got the time wrong for the launch of the "Amazing Challengers of the Unknown Mystery" comic book (Waterloo, Ontario's greatest superteam!): it was at 8 instead of 7 so I had an hour to kill. I went over to U of T to renew my acquaintance with my favourite library stacks over there: the back-issue (science?) journal stacks.

They're in this 5 or 6 story tower and the shelves run straight from the foundation to the ceiling. You walk around on these translucent sheets of glass that subdivide the cylinder into floors. The glass bounces the light around so that it seems to be coming from all around you: kind of like the sourceless light you get in video games and other virtual realities.

Every so often a shelf has a little table at the end under which is a little stool that swings around the metal pole holding up that end of the shelves so that you can pull it out to either side of the table. This is where you read the bound volumes that you pull down from the shelves.

It's nice and eerie in there due to the light and because every section is virtually identical to every other section, except for the titles on the standard journal collection binders. It's like that short story by Jules Borge where there's this enormous library made up of identical cells covered in identically bound books. The first book consists entirely of "A"s and the final book consists only of "Z"s: intervening books differ from their neighbours by one letter. The library therefore contains all possible books of this number of pages.

/Don - spectrum at die-evil-spammers die ca.inter.net
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